Thunder Bay

Lakehead University names new women's hockey coach

Lakehead University's women's club hockey team has a new head coach.

Thunder Bay's Kate Clower announced as program's new coach, coordinator on Tuesday

Lakehead University's women's club hockey team celebrates after winning its second ACHA Division 2 national championship earlier this year. The team named Kate Clower at its new head coach on Tuesday. (Lakehead University Athletics)

Lakehead University's women's club hockey team has a new head coach.

Thunder Bay's Kate Clower was announced as the program's new coach and coordinator at a media event on Tuesday.  She takes over from Dan Calvert.

Clower said her experience as a university hockey player — she played for Minnesota State University Mankato on a full scholarship — will help her as she steps behind the bench for Lakehead's women's team.

"It's like something that, if you didn't experience it, you don't know what it's like to have to go school, plus make practice, get good grades, have a part-time job," she said. "I can help them with their hockey side of things, but also provide them with some support throughout their schooling."

Prior to attending Minnesota State, Clower played minor hockey in Thunder Bay. When she returned to the city after university, Clower served as coach with the Norwest Minor Hockey Association, and the Thunder Bay Bantam AA Queens.

Clower said her connections in Thunder Bay will also help in her role as coach.

"Just having that background, I think, of being a player in town, knowing the city, knowing the ins and outs of how that corporate world works for the hockey side of things will be huge for moving forward with gaining some more funding, and doing some events to boost this hockey program," she said.

Now, she joins a team that's won two straight American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 championships.

"Tryouts are in late September, so once we get the team formed, I think it's kind of hit the ground running," Clower said. "Our first series is end of October, so I think for the first little bit, it'll be gaining that respect and building that team atmosphere."

"They're obviously skilled players, all the returning players, and there's a good crop of girls coming up for the tryouts," she said. "So, I think, I'm just selecting the right people to build the program and continue that success."